West Australian Jason Scrivener will arrive at RACV Royal Pines Resort this week full of confidence after registering a top-five finish in the European Tour’s season-opening event, the Honma Hong Kong Open.
Seeking to become the fourth Australian winner of the tournament in the past five years, Scrivener started the week with the equal best score of the opening round – a five-under 65 – and was never far from the top of the leaderboard.
Tied for fourth heading into Sunday’s final round, Scrivener faced a difficult assignment to catch eventual winner Aaron Rai from England but looked like making a charge with back-to-back birdies early in his back nine.
An untimely bogey at the par-4 14th quelled any momentum the 29-year-old might have been building as he parred his way in to finish tied for third. He can now set his sights on a tilt at the European Tour co-sanctioned Australian PGA Championship on the Gold Coast where he tied for 15th 12 months ago.
Continuing the tradition of being a happy hunting ground for Aussies, Hong Kong Golf Club was also to the liking of Jake Higginbottom and Scott Hend, the pair both recording scores of 69-69 over the weekend to be tied for ninth.
Former Hong Kong Open winner Sam Brazel finished in a blaze of glory with a final round of 65, he and European Tour rookie Deyen Lawson tied for 30th at four-under par.
Straight from Dubai where he played in the season-ending DP World Tour Championship, defending champion Wade Ormsby mounted a strong defence of his title before falling 16 spots on the leaderboard on Sunday to be tied for 36th, his two-over 72 spoiled largely by a double-bogey 6 on the 72nd hole of the tournament.
Terry Pilkadaris was the only other Aussie to qualify for the weekend, closing with an even-par 70 to tie for 57th.